by Myron Harms

Download a printable PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Pentecost 12A Gospel.

Text: Matthew 16:13-20 for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Series A


Participants will:

  1. Recognize and appreciate the importance of their individuality.
  2. Realize the significance of belonging to the family of God.
  3. See others as individuals created by God for unique purposes.

Materials Needed

3×5 index cards

Group Guidelines

Form groups of 5-6. Choose the person with the largest hands to be the small group leader. The leader’s job is to guide his/her group through the discussion questions.

Building Community

  1. Have each participant write down three things about themselves on an index card. After all have finished, collect the cards and redistribute them so each person has someone else’s card. Have each person read the card they have while the rest of the group tries to guess, “Who Am I?”
  2. Have each group select three or four characters from the Bible and write three statements about this individual. Share these statements with the other groups and see who can guess the character based on the statements shared.

Looking at God’s Word

  1. Read Matthew 16:13-20 and answer the following questions:
    1. In what different ways is Jesus described in this passage?
    2. Why did people think that Jesus was john the Baptist, Elijah or Jeremiah?
    3. Why does Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of Man?
    4. What was the most important thing that Peter recognized about Jesus that so many others didn’t understand?
    5. What are the different ways Peter is described?
    6. What do these descriptions tell us about the disciple Peter?
    7. Since Peter’s family was involved in the fishing business, what do you think some of his responsibilities were as the son of Jonah?
    8. What special responsibilities or privileges did Jesus give to Peter?
    9. What did it mean that Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
  2. Jesus was fully human and at the same time the Son of God. God has placed us in earthly families and at the same time has made us a part of His heavenly family and His church at large.
    1. What are the privileges and responsibilities you have in your family?
    2. What responsibilities and privileges do we have since we are also part of God’s family?

Reinforcing What Has Been Learned

  1. Have each person in your group write down who they understand the person Jesus to be. Have them also list how they feel God has specially gifted them to serve in their church, family, among friends, etc. As each person shares what they have listed, others in the group can also share special traits they recognize about each person in the group.
  2. On a sheet of newsprint have the group write down, draw or in any other way share who Jesus is to them. When everyone is done have a spokesperson from each group share the poster with the other groups.


In your group, close with a prayer having everyone pray for the person on their left, giving thanks for the unique qualities that were identified for each person.